Lake Placid, NY

May 16-18

Lake placid conference Center

We are proud to announce the following keynote speakers!

Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys (Rūta Šepetys) is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is renowned for giving voice to underrepresented history and those who experienced it.  Her books have won or been shortlisted for over forty book prizes, are included on over thirty state reading lists, and are currently in development for film and television.

Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. Born in Michigan, she was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Ruta is passionate about the power of history and story to foster global dialogue and connectivity. She has been invited to present at NATO, European Parliament, the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, and Embassies worldwide. She was awarded The Rockefeller Foundation’s prestigious Bellagio Fellowship for her studies on human resilience. 

Ruta lives with her family in the hills of Tennessee.

Stacey Lee

Stacey Lee is the New York Times and Indie bestselling author of historical and contemporary young adult fiction, including The Downstairs Girl, a Reese’s Book Club YA pick, and her most recent novel, Luck of the Titanic, which received five starred reviews. She also writes belly-busting middle grade fiction with Rick Riordan Presents.

A native of southern California and fourth-generation Chinese American, she picked degrees at UCLA then UC Davis and practiced law for several years before retiring to start her real job writing books. Her books have been published in over a dozen countries, and have won the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association award, the PEN Center award for best YA, the Northern California Book Award, and the Golden Poppy Award and appeared on Cosmopolitan’s Best YA Books of All Time, and Parade Magazines’ Best YA, among others. She is a co-founder of the We Need Diverse Books movement and writes stories for all kids (even the ones who look like adults).

Kate Messner

Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books for kids who wonder, too. Her award-winning titles include picture books like Over and Under the Snow and How to Write a Story; novels like All the Answers, Breakout, and Chirp; engaging nonfiction like The Next President and Tracking Pythons; the Fergus and Zeke easy reader series, the popular Ranger in Time chapter books, and the new History Smashers illustrated nonfiction series, aimed at unraveling historical myths and sharing hidden truths. Learn more at her website, www.katemessner.com 

Knickerbocker Winner Charles Smith Jr

Charles R. Smith Jr. is an acclaimed poet and the Coretta Scott King Award–winning illustrator of My People, a picture book based on the poem by Langston Hughes. He is also the illustrator of If, the author and photographer of I Am the World, and he won the Coretta Scott King Author Honor for his book Twelve Rounds To Glory. He grew up in California and attended the Brooks Institute of Photography. A magazine and book cover photographer in addition to a picture book creator, Charles lives with his wife and kids in Poughkeepsie, New York. Visit him at CharlesRSmithJr.com.